Despite banking institutions, representatives and Congress warning the new and incoming Biden administration against supporting the crypto-friendly decisions that the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) has announced in the latter half of 2020, the OCC has issued a letter of its interpretation of “the legal permissibility of certain payment-related activities that
involve the use of new technologies, including the use of independent node verification networks..
(INVNs or networks) and stablecoins, to engage in and facilitate payment activities”.
What this means is that banks have been given an on-the-record go-ahead to issue stablecoins as they would debit cards, to exchange fiat currency with stablecoins, and also to use blockchain tech to safeguard bank transactions with customers. This announcement is one of many exciting and positive crypto-related announcements by the OCC, which has certainly reinvigorated the industry in the US.
Previously, OCC’s announcements led to a price spike in Bitcoin as the institution and Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks displayed their support for innovation in finance and payment through fintech and blockchain tech. The OCC’s stance is that traditional banks need to evolve with the times and adapt to the changing needs to its customers in a world where Web 3.0 technologies permeate almost every part of our lives.
As the OCC looks upon the crypto industry favourably, others are not as welcoming of the changes made by the OCC. Representative Maxine Waters, for one, wrote a letter recently to President Elect Joe Biden, firmly requesting that he refutes the OCC’s decisions as its support for crypto is evidence of its misuse of authority.
For now, it is unclear what Biden’s administration will for the crypto industry. Some analyst have pointed out that Biden may choose to tighten up laws on crypto as Democrats have historically been fond of adding to regulations. However, this may not entirely be bad news for the industry, as regulatory clarity is key to further development in the US crypto sector. If laws are clearly laid out and companies comply along these demarcated lines, it will also lend legitimacy to crypto firms and businesses to operate legally in the US without fear of the US Securities and Exchange Commission filing charges on ambiguous grounds.